Being royal certainly has its advantages – especially when it comes to finances. As a whole, the British royal family has an estimated net worth of approximately $ 88 billion. And although most members have more money than they might need, the wealth of the royal family is unfairly distributed. Discover what the royal family divides, plus who the richest members are.
Royal family net worth and how they make their money
Although the royal family is relatively quiet about their finances, it is well known that they are worth billions. And some even estimate their equity at around $ 88 billion. However, the wealth of the royal family looks much different on an individual level (more on that later!).
So how does the royal family earn their money? Although many think they are paid by UK taxpayers, that is not the whole picture. Queen Elizabeth does receive a government subsidy through the Sovereign Grant, which is funded by taxes, but that money must go back to The Crown, meaning that it can only be used for official business expenses and maintenance of Crown’s historic properties, such as Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
At the summit of the Sovereign Grant, the royal family also earns money through two portfolios of land, the Duchy of Lancaster and the Duchy of Cornwall. Both estates have historic buildings, commercial properties and urban developments in England and Wales.
Moreover, a large part of the wealth of the royal family comes from private property. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and other members of the royal family own a handful of private properties, including Sandringham Estate, Balmoral Castle, Highgrove House, Birkhall and Llwynywermod.
How is the royal family’s wealth distributed?
The wealth of the royal family is unfortunately unfairly distributed. To begin with, the monarch inherits assets such as Balmoral Castle and Sandringham Estate and has access to personal funds through the Duchy of Lancaster. Subsequently, the Prince of Wales (or heir to the throne) receives an income from the Duchy of Cornwall. The sovereign covers the costs for royal family members and the Prince of Wales gives compensation to his children.
That means that, despite being a full-time member of the royal family, when Prince William becomes the Prince of Wales, he will automatically earn more money than Prince Harry, simply based on his position in the line of succession.
In the past, the royal family has tried to be somewhat honest about sharing their wealth. Example: when the Queen Mother died, Prince William and Prince Harry both earned great success from their great-grandmother. And even though it had to be the same, most of the money went to Prince Harry because his big brother “would gain financial advantage by becoming king,” the BBC notes. Moreover, Princess Diana was honest with her sons and even left parts of her estate behind. She even gave them her jewelry that she said had to be divided equally, but they could choose who got what.